US business lobby calls for public hearing on climate change evidence

The US Chamber of Commerce is trying to force a public hearing into the scientific evidence for man-made climate change in an effort to stave off legislation that may harm its business interests.

US businesses are comparing environmental regulation with the Salem witch trials

US businesses are comparing environmental regulation with the Salem witch trials

The chamber wants the national Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be more open on its findings that greenhouse gas emissions are a danger to public health and welfare.

"In order to ensure that regulations which reengineer our economy are needed and would ultimately be effective, we are pushing the EPA to reveal the data they used to justify their endangerment proposal," said a statement from the organisation.

"We need to drop the articles of faith and use the entirety of scientific study on the effects of climate change not a sub-set, chosen by the EPA, not for its validity but rather on its ability to forward their policy goal - the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions."

An EPA spokesman told the LA Times that the regulator's position is based on "the soundest peer-reviewed science available, which overwhelmingly indicates that climate change presents a threat to human health and welfare."

The Chamber of Commerce dismissed this as 'akin to the Salem witch trials, based on myth'.

While the chamber's concerns are unashamedly commercially driven, the spat highlights the danger of green claims being accepted on face value as received wisdom - and the potential backlash of mistrust that could cause.

"There are many questions to be asked of the EPA, and forgive the chamber for not accepting "Trust Us" as an answer," said the chamber's statement.

"To enact effective policy we need transparency and scientific data which is beyond question, not data deemed beyond questioning."

Sam Bond



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